Good ethnic food, deli's near Costa Mesa?
I wish I knew of the place... but there's an El Salvadorian restaurant in East Costa Mesa some place near 17th. Great tamales. I'm hoping someone knows the name.
There's also a Mexican place called Taco Mesa in the same area. I think it's on 17th.
Sorry I don't know the specifics, but man... these places are good.
I think the Salvadorian place you're thinking of may be El Chinaco on 19th:
560 W 19TH St Ste D
Costa Mesa, CA 92627-5044
Taco Mesa is also just up the road on 19th:
647 W 19th St
Costa Mesa, CA 92627-2715
And here's another taco place on 19th that I like:
Taqueria El Granjenal
899 W 19th St, Costa Mesa, CA
Unfortunately, Kaplan's Deli closed last year, one of my favorites.
There is Tommy Pastrami that I've enjoyed their pastrami sandwich, but some others have had mixed reviews about it.
3751 S Harbor Blvd
Arnie's has a sit-down restaurant, but you can also order to go:
Arnie's Manhattan Deli
1660 Dove St
There is also the DePillo Cafe & Deli that I just wrote a review about just a few hours ago. They have BBQ specials every Thursday.
DePillo Cafe & Deli
3001 Red Hill Ave, Bldg 1, Suite 108
Costa Mesa, CA
A couple of other delis that I've driven by, but haven't been to yet:
3015 Harbor Blvd
(presumably Russian deli, next to Pho 99 restaurant)
1928 Harbor Blvd
As far as ethnic goes, there are lots of Japanese ramen, sushi, and izakaya pubs in the area, with a few Vietnamese places nearby.
I've read that Habana has good Cuban food, nearby Memphis Cafe has good Cajun/Creole, nearby Onotria has Italian fusion. There is Brazilian BBQ in Irvine at Agoro Churrascaria, French at Chat Noir and Tradition by Pascal, Persian at Ferdussi and Darya.
In my opinion there are no better burritos in So. Cal. than El Toro Bravo, a highly authentic take-out place on 19th St in Costa Mesa. The line is usually long but it moves fast. In the same mini-mall there's also a small Mexican food store, which I believe is run by the same management, for getting sodas etc.
Depending on where you are in Costa Mesa, you might be pretty close to Greek Island Grille, in Santa Ana but right across Sunflower from South Coast Plaza (which is in Costa Mesa). Delicious, reasonably priced Greek food, suitable for take-out. Try the bifteki, especially.
Greek Island Grille
3940 S. Bristol St
I haven't been but read good things on Yelp about:
665 Paularino Avenue
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
"A famous ramen chain in Japan now with 4 locations in the U.S. (NJ, Chicago, Torrance, Costa Mesa) serves solid Japanese style ramen. While Santouka is not my favorite ramen in Japan, here in the States, it beats out many of the restaurants that tries to serve ramen."